Meet Keepmoat’s talented duo of newly qualified bricklayers tackling the construction skills shortage

Top 10 housebuilder, Keepmoat, is celebrating after two teenagers successfully completed their Level 2 bricklaying apprenticeship - a flagship qualification that is creating a pipeline of skilled workers as the sector faces a talent shortage.

Evan Browne and Callum Quinn are employed by the housebuilder and began their qualifications in October 2022. Keepmoat works in partnership with the National House Building Council (NHBC) and together the organisations deliver an apprenticeship that can be completed in as little as 18 months.

The skills shortage is a prominent issue the construction industry has been facing over the past few years. With an ageing workforce and a decline in young people joining traditional trades, construction companies must find 225,000 extra workers to meet the UK construction demand by 2027.

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Callum, 18, from Bradford explains: “Having spent some time at college already and having a keen interest in construction, an apprenticeship seemed like a natural next step for me. I take great pride in the skills I have gained from my time as an apprentice, such as the ability to be self-sufficient and productive with my own skills.

Keepmoat apprenticesKeepmoat apprentices
Keepmoat apprentices

“I can’t wait to be able to take my knowledge and skills into the real world to benefit myself and society. I’m eager to start my full-time job as a bricklayer and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to enter the industry through an apprenticeship.’’

Both apprentices undertook their apprenticeships at the NHBC Training Hub based at Keepmoat’s The Rise development, in Scotswood, which is being delivered by New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC) a partnership between Keepmoat and Newcastle City Council.

Geoff Scott, Social Value Manager at Keepmoat, added: “We’re delighted to see Evan and Callum complete their apprenticeships and become part of the next generation of talented bricklayers. Both apprentices really got stuck into their training and it’s been a pleasure to watch them grow. We look for hard-working, resilient and motivated individuals, with great communication skills, something which both demonstrated.

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“At Keepmoat, we are thrilled to see young people thrive in their roles, there are so many progression opportunities within this field so we are excited to see what’s to come. It’s so rewarding to see young people grasp opportunities in the industry. Although the technical skills are so important, the interpersonal skills I have seen apprentices develop are arguably just as important.”

Darryl Stewart, responsible for NHBC’s apprentice training programme and hubs, added: “It's great to see how Evan and Callum have flourished at the NHBC Training Hub in Newcastle, which is creating a local supply of talent for the house-building industry and having a positive impact on the lives of all its apprentices.

“Bricklaying is at the heart of house building and is a hugely important skill. NHBC’s training hubs are a key component of our ongoing commitment to supporting the next generation of house builders, equipping them with the skills to build high-quality new homes. Our network of training hubs offer a realistic work environment, expert trainers and an apprenticeship can be completed in as little as 14 months, compared to 30 months offered by traditional options.”

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